By Bob Brainerd Special to Published Nov 26, 2006 at 10:02 PM
The UW-Milwaukee game against Tennessee Tech Sunday night had the Panthers up, 1-0, even before the jump ball. In a rarely-seen starting point, the Golden Eagles were docked a technical foul when one of the players dunked during warm-ups … a no-no, but a rule, that was caught by one of the game officials. So before the jump ball, Panthers forward Paige Paulsen made one of two shots spotting UWM a running start. The Panthers needed ten more -- Tech won the game, 78-68.

What a weekend for Wisconsin women’s college basketball. All four D-1 programs won a pair of games and captured Thanksgiving tournaments on the road. Marquette was a winner at the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam and UW-Milwaukee captured the SMU Hoops For A Cure Classic in Dallas. UW-Green Bay, expected to battle with UWM for the top spot in the Horizon League, was the champion in Flagstaff, Ariz. And what happens in Vegas, comes back to Madison. The Badgers are now 6-0 after grabbing the Rebel Shootout crown.

Give the Brewers credit for making something happen, even if they can’t open up the vault and empty out a truckload of cash to sign an overpriced free agent that isn’t worth it. The trade with Arizona to pick up catcher Johnny Estrada fills a need behind the dish. There isn’t much to tap in the Milwaukee farm system, and Damian Miller is 37 and played hurt last season. Estrada will bring another bat to the lineup, and Miller will be an excellent guy to spell him and pinch hit off the bench.

You have to wonder if the Bucks will return home from a four-game, seven-day West Coast trip searching for an answer to rescue the season. Milwaukee still hasn’t won two games in a row, and blew its latest chance with a second-half collapse against Boston on Saturday night. Instead of momentum heading out west, the Bucks must now dig deep to head off a complete freefall, and the Lakers, Suns, Warriors and Jazz all have records at .500 or better.

Dominic James’ performance against Duke on national television was not only eye-opening for the rest of the country, but inspiring. The Golden Eagles were playing so well down the stretch against the Blue Devils they would have no doubt, hung on to spring the upset anyway. But James, who poured in 25 points before leaving with an injury, couldn’t be held back from re-entering with the game in hand. His return wasn’t to rub it in or ramp up his tournament MVP stats. James knew the importance of this victory for the Marquette program over mighty Duke. Simply put, it was a college kid wanting to savor the moment. Think about it. Marquette beat “The General” and “Coach K.” in successive games.

Everyone continues to knock off everyone else in college football, and the Badgers keep moving up the polls after taking care of business in the regular season. Say what you want about the Wisconsin schedule, but there are teams that flirted with the Top 10, only to lose to inferior teams and burst their BCS bubble. I have said it before and will say it again…Why should a conference be penalized for having too many quality football teams, allowing only a maximum of two to play in BCS games? Wisconsin deserves to play in a bowl game bigger than the one in Orlando. A Top 10 team in the polls, but one on the outside looking in at the biggest games of the year? That’s complete garbage!
Bob Brainerd Special to
Born and raised in Milwaukee, what better outlet for Bob to unleash his rambling bits of trivial information than right here with

Bob currently does play-by-play at Time Warner Cable Sports 32, calling Wisconsin Timber Rattlers games in Appleton as well as the area high school football and basketball scene. During an earlier association with FS Wisconsin, his list of teams and duties have included the Packers, Bucks, Brewers and the WIAA State Championships.

During his life before cable, Bob spent seven seasons as a reporter and producer of "Preps Plus: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Show."

And the joke is, Bob has a golf shirt from all four Milwaukee television stations. Sad, but true: Bob has had sports and news anchor/reporter/producer stints at WTMJ, WISN, WDJT and WITI.

His first duty out of college (UW-Oshkosh) was radio and TV work in Eau Claire. Bob spent nearly a decade at WEAU-TV as a sports director and reporter.

You may have heard Bob's pipes around town as well. He has done play-by-play for the Milwaukee Mustangs, Milwaukee Iron, and UW-Milwaukee men's and women's basketball. Bob was the public address announcer for five seasons for both the Marquette men and women's basketball squads. This season, you can catch the starting lineups of the UW-Milwaukee Panther men's games with Bob behind the mic.

A Brookfield Central graduate, Bob's love and passion for sports began at an early age, when paper football leagues, and Wiffle Ball All Star Games were all the rage in the neighborhood.